India - Hanuman Jayanti

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

Hanuman Jayanti

Sri Hanuman is worshipped all over India either alone or together with Sri Ram. Every year on the full-moon day of Chaitra (April) "Hanuman Jayanti" is celebrated. It is to commemorate the birth of Hanuman.

Every temple of Lord Ram has the idol of Lord Hanuman along with him. Lord Hanuman had devotion, knowledge, and spirit of selfless service and the power of celibacy.

Hanuman was the mighty ape who aided Lord Rama in his mission against evil forces. He is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu pantheon. He is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.

On Saturdays and Tuesdays many people keep fast to appease Hanuman and give special offerings to him. In times of trouble, it is a common belief among Hindus that if they chant the name of Hanuman or sing his hymn "Hanuman Chalisa" and proclaim "Bajrang bali Ki Jai" which means "victory to thy thunderbolt strength" then all the obstacles will be removed.

On Hanuman Jayanti day, from early morning devotees flock to Hanuman temples to worship the monkey god. They apply tilak of sindhoor (vermillion) to their foreheads from the Hanuman’s body as this is considered to bring good luck. According to the legend, once Sita was applying sindhoor to her head and Hanuman asked her why she was doing so. When told that this would ensure a long life for her husband, Hanuman smeared his entire body with sindhoor in an effort to ensure Ram’s immortality! Such was his devotion and simplicity!

Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival in India. On this holy day devotees fast, read the Hanuman Chalisa and spend the whole day in the continuous recitation of Ram-Nam. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. He is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains, dart through the air and seize the clouds. He is worshipped in folk tradition as a deity with magical powers and the ability to conquer evil spirits.

The character of Hanuman teaches us of the unlimited power that lies unused within each one of us. Hanuman perfectly exemplifies "Dasyabhava" devotion, one of the nine types of devotions that bond the master and the servant and his greatness lies in his complete merger with his Lord.


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